Their injury list is the stuff of nightmares but Gold Coast coach Neil Henry believes his biggest worry is the Titans defence – or lack thereof.
Jarryd Hayne tops the Gold Coast’s 12-strong injury list after scans confirmed he would be sidelined for at least a month with “significant” ankle ligament damage.
Winger Anthony Don and hooker Karl Lawton (both shoulder) were also told on Monday they would be out for four to six weeks.
Backline depth has been further tested by a “mutual decision” to make centre Nathan Davis unavailable as he looks for another club.
Henry admitted he had never seen an injury list so long at a club after just two rounds, yet that wasn’t his real concern.
The Titans have leaked a league-worst 66 points in their two losses.
In the first round they conceded 28 points in one half alone.
Henry did not need to be told what they had to fix ahead of Friday night’s home clash with ladder leaders Parramatta.
“It’s tough (with injuries) but it doesn’t take away our disappointment with our defensive efforts,” he said.
“Both sides have rolled through us and we need to address that.”
The coach said even with a full contingent available in the first half in their second-round loss in Newcastle the signs were ominous for their defence.
“I don’t think I have had this many out this early in the season for a long time, if ever,” Henry said.
“But even when we had everyone out there (against Newcastle), that first half-hour we didn’t play particularly well.
“Across the park we have leaked too many points.”
The Gold Coast will have to address the problem quickly with a tough six-week run ahead of Parramatta (home), North Queensland (home), Warriors (away), Canberra (home), Brisbane (away) and defending premiers Cronulla (away).
The first hurdle is the red-hot Eels, fresh from their 34-16 thrashing of the Dragons.
“We are coming up against a Parramatta side that are the benchmark,” Henry said.
“They have had two strong performances, they will come here with a lot of confidence.”
Henry insisted the Titans would not use injuries as an excuse.
“We just need to find a way to get a couple of wins early in the season and then look forward to players coming back,” he said.
“And both of our games were winnable even taking into account our injury toll – they were games we could have closed out.”